Evaluating the Quality of Research

A good research often requires judgment, honesty, and careful evaluation of sources of information. It recognizes possible errors, limitations, and contradictory evidence. A good research also identifies eliminated factors that may be of importance. It also describes decisions made by the researchers in writing the analysis of gathered data.

A good research has carefully constructed conclusions by citing multiple types of evidence. It does not have overstated claims. It does not also accept that association (things occur together) validates causation (one thing causes another).

On the other hand, a bad research often contains jumps in logic, false arguments, and unusual or unacceptable statements. It may be deceiving because it contains accurate data, but manipulative in nature and often misrepresents the information to agree upon a particular conclusion. This kind of research is very ideal and tailor-made. The questions are defined, the statistics are selected, and the analysis is well-structured just to reach a definite outcome. Alternative points of view and data can be neglected or misinterpreted. The critics of an idea in some cases overstate issues that are uncertain.

Criteria in Evaluating Qualitative Research

Corbin and Strauss (1990) suggested criteria in evaluating the credibility of a qualitative work. To them, both the researcher and the reviewer must make judgment primarily about the components of the research process, particularly on how the data were gathered and analyzed. Below are some of the exact questions presented by Corbin and Strauss (1990) deemed relevant in the evaluation process of qualitative research studies made by senior high school students.

  1. How was the sample selected?
  2. What major themes or categories emerged?
  3. What were some evidential or incidental proofs pointing to the categories?
  4. What were some of the statements of relationships made during the analysis and on what grounds were they formulated and validated?
  5. Were there discrepancies and how were they accounted for?
  6. How and why was the core theme, if applicable, selected?
  7. Are the concepts systematically related? The concepts and their relationships must be developed systematically to generate a theoretical explanation of a phenomenon of interest.
  8. Was the process taken into account? A clear discussion of the process enables theory users to explain theory consequences under changing circumstances.
  9. Are the theoretical findings significant and to what extent?
  10. Do the findings become part of the body of the research topic?